Mystical Theology

Why is mysticism an important part of Christianity (and indeed of all the great religious traditions)? These articles attempt to answer this question by exploring the minds of the mystics themselves: their theology, philosophy and world-view.

“For Darkness is as Light to You” — Why Mysticism Isn’t Afraid of the Dark

So if the Bible rather consistently offers this image of light representing good and dark representing evil, why then do we find writings in the literature of mysticism with titles like The Dark Night of the Soul (St. John of the Cross), The Darkness of God (Denys Turner), and A Dazzling Darkness (an anthology of mystical wisdom)? Read More »

Discerning the Mystical Sense of the Bible

Origen of Alexandria, one of the earliest Christian mystics, suggested that the Bible needs to be read on three levels: the literal, the moral, and the mystical. It's important to understand the distinctions between these three approaches to the scriptures. Read More »

Mysticism and Faith: How Do They Relate?

Mysticism is important because it implies an experimental spirituality — it's not something you learn from a book, but it's a reality that we live, in our own heart and minds and bodies. But does this mean that there is no room for doctrine and faith in the mystical life? Read More »

The Characteristics of a Mystic

I know two elderly monks at the local monastery near where I live, both of whom have reputations as "real mystics." Indeed, I would agree with this assessment — they both strike me as genuine contemplatives, true living mystics. But they are very different from one another in some key ways. Read More »

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